The Danger of a Single Story

Above is a video of Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story.”  How do Adichie’s anecdotes and assertions help you understand our readings in postcolonial criticism (and vice versa)? You might also consider how her talk helps you understand the Adopt, Adapt, and Adept phases of (post)colonial literature.

DUE DATE: Tuesday, December 10


Two Upcoming Talks

Pierreflyer1As I mentioned in class, these two upcoming talks are relevant for our recent discussions and will likely be of interest to you. The flyer to the left is for Jemima Pierre’s talk on Thursday morning, “Race In Africa? Ghana and the Local Contours of Global White Supremacy” (click on the image to enlarge the flyer). The other talk, Yasmiyn Irizarry’s “Shifting Tracks: Race and Disruptions in Math Trajectories during the Middle to High School Transition,” is on Wednesday morning. I’ll paste the info below. If you’d like to attend one of these events and write a response for extra credit, refer to the “Extra Credit: Fab Feminism” assignment sheet for guidelines. Responses are due in class on Tuesday, December 10.

SSHA Seminar Series: Shifting Tracks: Race and Disruptions in Math Trajectories during the Middle to High School Transition

Half Dome Conference Room (SSM 317) | Wednesday, Dec. 4 | 10:30 a.m.

Details: Student math course placements are of great concern for educators and education scholars because of the cumulative and sequential nature of mathematics course taking and the importance of early math course placements for advanced math course taking, college matriculation, and STEM career pathways. One of the most significant predictors of all three is completing Calculus during high school, which is most likely to occur when students complete Algebra I in middle school. This study extends previous literature by examining the extent of racial differences in disruptions to this math trajectory during the middle to high school transition. Using a nationally representative sample of 9th grade students from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, Irizarry will focus on the math trajectory of students who successfully completed an Algebra I course (grade of B or higher) before entering high school. Findings center on racial differences in the likelihood of retaking Algebra I in 9th grade–a common, yet influential disruption in students’ math course taking trajectories–and the role of various student and school level characteristics in mitigating this relationship.
Yasmiyn Irizarry, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Research Fellow in the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. She is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Sociology with a minor in Quantitative Research Methods and a Preparing Future Faculty Certificate. Dr. Irizarry’s main research interests include (1) sociology of education, (2) race and ethnic relations, and (3) social inequality (at the intersections of race, gender, class, generational status, and sexuality). Her research agenda examines issues related to educational inequality in elementary and high school contexts, racial identity and the measurement of race, social attitudes, interracial contact, and group relations, and prejudice and discrimination.


Jane Elliot’s “Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes” Exercise

If you have found our unit on Critical Race Theory interesting, you may want to watch the above clips.  Jane Elliot’s “Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes” exercise makes visible some of the concepts we’ve been discussing, including white privilege. Thank you, Erika, for bringing these videos to our attention.  I’ve also uploaded two related (optional) readings to our CROPS resources folder: Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege and Male Privilege” and Gloria Yamato’s “Something About the Subject Makes It Hard to Name”.

Mulvey on Morocco

You’ve read Laura Mulvey’s analysis of Sternberg’s Morocco (1930).  Now take a look at the film’s trailer.  Where do you see examples of Mulvey’s arguments about narrative cinema?  How might bell hooks respond to Mulvey’s arguments about the film?  What might hooks add to the critique?  What might a postcolonial feminist critic, like Gayatri Spivak, add to the conversation?

DUE DATE: Tuesday, November 19

Feminist Ryan Gosling


Click here to be taken to the Feminist Ryan Gosling blog I’ve given you a sneak peak of in class.  Now that you’ve read some feminist theory and criticism, what do you make of it?  The blog’s author, Danielle Henderson, has received both accolades and critique.  Read through some of her posts and her FAQ, and then weigh in.

DUE DATE: Tuesday, November 19

Ayu Saraswati Talk

SaraswatiFlyerWe are fortunate to be at a university that brings such interesting and dynamic speakers to campus. This talk by Ayu Saraswati may be of interest to many of you, and it is especially relevant for us as we move into our units on Feminist Theory, Gender Studies, and Critical Race Theory.

ABSTRACT: In this talk, Saraswati explores how feelings and emotions—Western constructs as well as Indian, Javanese, and Indonesian notions such as rasa and malu—contribute to and are constitutive of transnational and gendered processes of racialization. Employing “affect” theories and feminist cultural studies as a lens through which to analyze a vast range of materials, including the Old Javanese epic poem Ramayana, archival materials, magazine advertisements, commercial products, and numerous interviews with Indonesian women, she argues that it is how emotions come to be attached to certain objects and how they circulate that shape the “emotionscape” of white beauty in Indonesia.

California Room | October 31, 2013 | 10:30am

Fab Feminism Week

Fab Feminism Week 2013 CalendarJust in time for our unit on feminist criticism and theory, the Office of Student Life–Women’s Programs is hosting Fab Feminism Week, a series of educational and celebratory events related to feminism. If you participate in Fab Feminism Week, I invite you to write a brief response to the event you attend for extra credit toward your participation grade.  Responses are due in class no later than Tuesday, November 19. The assignment sheet is available on CROPS and on the “Assignments” tab of this page. A full schedule with details about each of the events is available on the Fab Feminism Week Facebook event page.